Confession can be used
LISBON -- A Columbiana County Common Pleas judge has ruled that the confession of a Knox Township man can be used as evidence when he goes on trial Feb. 10 on charges of aggravated murder and attempted murder.
Gregory Doak, 45, of Knox School Road is charged with the April 7 shooting death of Teresa Stoffer, 42, of Knox Township. Stoffer was a friend of Doak's estranged wife, Angela, 39, also of Knox Township. Doak is also accused of attempting to kill his wife.
During a preliminary hearing in April, a Columbiana County sheriff's department investigator said Doak admitted shooting Stoffer.
At a hearing last week, Judge David Tobin heard defense counsel's arguments that Doak's statements to police after the shooting should not be allowed as evidence. Judge Tobin took the request under advisement and issued his ruling Monday.
SALEM -- Firefighters are seeking information about a blaze they say is suspicious.
Salem firefighters were called to an apartment complex at 2060 Monroe Ave. around 5:43 a.m. Monday after tenants complained of smoke in the halls. The source of the fire was a storage area in the basement.
Lt. Dave Slagle said firefighters aren't certain of the cause of the fire, but believe it was deliberately set.
The fire was contained to the basement area and caused about $4,000 in damage, Slagle said. He said there were no injuries reported.
There are about 22 apartments in the complex, he said.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the fire department's business number, (330) 337-6183.
Sentenced for theft
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A former Lawrence County Government Center employee is serving one year's probation and paying fines after pleading guilty to stealing money from the county sheriff's office.
John Donofrio pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking in Lawrence County Central Court and was immediately sentenced. In addition to probation, he was ordered to pay a $200 fine and $135 in court costs.
Donofrio, 55, of Box 258, Hillsville, was arrested in January after a hidden camera showed him taking money from a desk in the county sheriff's office. Police accused him of taking $1,128 over a two-year period from the sheriff's office. He has made restitution.
English tax-repeal bill
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- U.S.. Rep. Phil English of Erie, R-3rd, has introduced legislation that would repeal the federal income tax on federal unemployment insurance.
English, a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax, said: "The federal government pays benefits to our unemployed workers. Then we're going to tax them on what we just paid? It doesn't make sense."
The payment of unemployment compensation puts payments on a par with earned wages and other ordinary income when it comes to income tax liability. Because the government doesn't withhold any taxes from the payments, individuals are hit with a huge tax bill a year later without any consideration of their financial stability, English said.
The congressman said he would like to see his bill added to the president's plan for economic stimulation.
Councilman to run again
FARRELL, Pa. -- City Councilman Mark Petrillo said he will seek another term in office on the Democratic ticket this year. Petrillo, speaking at the end of a city council meeting Monday, said he believes the city is moving forward and he wants to be a part of that effort. "I see some things happening. I think we're headed in the right direction," he said.
Petrillo is completing his first term in office. He is a retired city firefighter, having worked in the department for 22 years.
Robbed at gunpoint
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Police said a man carrying what appeared to be a small-caliber revolver and wearing a ski mask took an undisclosed amount of money from S & amp;S Beer Distributing at 406 North St.
The gunman walked into the business around 7:40 p.m. Saturday and confronted the owner, forcing him into a back room before emptying the cash register, police said. He then pointed the gun at a customer before leaving the building and fleeing in a four-door sedan, believed to be gray or silver in color.